The Pond

The pond in the south-west corner of Oakley Wood is its main permanent source of water, and so attracts a variety of wildlife. The path that runs around the edge of the wood runs close by one end of the pond. On the other side of the path is a muddy pool that has formed in ruts produced by the last logging operations and deliberately left to fill for the public (i.e. dogs) to use. It’s ironic that this seems to be the preferred place for frogs to spawn – and this year there is masses of it.

Back in the past, when the wood was privately owned and only trespassers (!) visited, the gentle slope into the pond from the path was a place where the animals of the wood came to drink – you could be sure to see animal tracks in the mud.


Flooding onto what path there was in those days was never a problem – actually the pond has suffered the opposite. For a few years in the early noughties it completely dried up and disappeared. 2003 was a particularly dry year so it was probably around then. It took some years to refill and since then the level has varied.

Winter 2013

After the wood was purchased by Warwick District Council, management work began with tree thinning, and the pond didn’t escape:

Following tree thinning, 2014

Later, the southern end of the pond was built up with a retaining wall or “bund”, probably to help it retain water and stop it flooding onto the path, but it also serves to help shield it from passing humans and dogs.

“Bund” constructed, 2014

Today the pond is as full as it’s ever been in the last 20 years.

Our trail camera has recorded here pretty much all the types of animals that inhabit the wood, some only here. It’s recorded roe deer, muntjac, badger, fox, squirrel. It’s snapped lots of birds: mallard and teal, green and great spotted woodpeckers, jay, tawny owl, mistle thrush and others. Bats are also recorded in the summer, and even once a fleeting glimpse of a polecat.

Here’s a sample of stills from the trail camera:

and this is a collection of video clips from the last year or two:

or as a pop-out window here.

Please do remember that the pond is managed for the benefit of wildlife. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust have asked me to add this:

Dog walkers are welcome at Oakley Wood but please bear in mind that they can disturb wildlife, especially when wildlife is breeding from early Spring onward. You are more than welcome to let your dog bathe in the path-side scrape, however please discourage your dog from entering the wildlife pond beyond the bund, and from using the path-side scrape between March and June (inclusive), when Common Frogs are breeding.


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